Friday, August 17, 2012

Review of 'The Misadventures of Phillip Isaac Penn: PIP Goes to Camp'

Book Blurb:

"It’s not easy being a kid…”

Pip’s parent’s are sending him to summer camp—the one place he absolutely, definitely does NOT want to go! Now he’s in for eight whole days of torture, playing games, making crafts, and boating on the lake.

But worst of all are the people! From Whiner Winston keeping him awake all night with his complaining to Corrector Cora sticking her know-it-all nose into everyplace but her own business. Obviously Pip’s will need to do whatever it takes to get himself kicked out of camp and sent back home where he belongs.

Find out if he succeeds in this adorable chapter book that’s perfect for young readers. Filled with fun comedy, eye-catching pictures, and an easy-to-follow storyline, this book is perfect for young readers and guaranteed to keep the whole family grinning to the very last page.

**My thoughts**

Pip is a little smart aleck, whose parents are hoping he will develop some maturity if he is sent away to camp for a little while over summer. When he is there, he complains about everything and just wants to go home. Instead, everyone around him keeps getting into trouble and is sent home. He has to prove himself to stay out of trouble. As he does, he realizes that these kids, and camp, aren't so bad after all.

Pip has a knack for alliteration as he comes up with his negative nicknames for all of the other kids at camp. It is very easy for him to get sucked into their shenanigans and he struggles with making the right decisions. I like that he thinks "out loud" about some of the choices that he has to make, to demonstrate the process to young readers. Consequences for some of the negative choices are appropriate and will hopefully make kids think twice before they make some of their own. I also like how the camp counselor refuses to give in to the negative behavior to send Pip home. If Pip wants to go home, he will not be rewarded for negative behavior. That is an important lesson for parents and adults to remember about dealing with children.

His grumbling attitude is a little grating for an adult to read. I think that is because I work with children on a daily basis and whining is one of my biggest pet peeves. Kids who read this are going to recognize their own feelings in the grumbles and relate. Every chapter ends with "It isn't easy being a kid," which can feel redundant, yet pushes to get the point across. I do remember having those same feelings around that age.

I love the illustrations in this book. The characters come alive and their shenanigans become even more amusing when drawn out. I see this book appealing to middle grade readers, particularly boys. It is the second book in the series, but you do not need to read the first one to understand what is going on. It looks like even more misadventures are on their way to print! I'm curious to find out what else he is going to do.

I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review for Cedar Fort Books.

About the author:

Donna Peterson has enjoyed writing stories and poetry since the second grade. She is the author of the Misadventures of Phillip Isaac Penn series and has been published four times in the Idaho Magazine. She wrote a weekly humor column, “Kaleidoscope,” for the Three Rivers Chronicle, and she continues to write short stories for the children at Park Intermediate School where she has been employed for the past twelve years. Two years ago Donna took a children’s literature class at TVCC, taught by the popular children’s author, Judy Cox. This inspired Donna to finally publish her own stories.

Donna lives in Weiser with her husband, Brad, and her three-legged cat, Samson. Her eldest son, Erik, lives in Murray, Utah, with his wife, Shawna. David, her other son, just moved out to start his first year of college.

Writing has always been Donna’s favorite pastime, so having her children’s books published is a dream come true.

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